What Does Justification Mean?

Justification is a legal term. It describes God’s act of declaring sinners not guilty because of Christ’s righteousness. This was guaranteed by Christ’s resurrection: “[Jesus] was raised again for our justification” (Romans 4:25).

Asking God to judge us based on our own imperfect record would be a terrifying prospect. Relying on our record—even in part—could never yield a not guilty verdict (Galatians 2:16).

Yet, through faith, believers stand on Christ’s perfect record and are personally assured of this acquittal. Through faith in Christ’s saving work, his merits are credited to us (2 Corinthians 5:21), and we are reckoned righteous. See also Righteousness.

Believers enjoy a new status before God as “the righteous” and “saints.” They already know the verdict and can look forward to Judgment Day. This brings peace with God (Romans 5:1).

For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

2 Corinthians 5:21

Study Justification in the Scriptures

Romans 4:25

Galatians 2:16

2 Corinthians 5:21

Romans 5:1

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